For three days, nine year old Sydney boy Santoso found himself home alone after his single mother suddenly walked out. Not knowing what else to do, he took himself to school and lived on two-minute noodles. He had no idea where his mother had gone or if she was ever coming back.
When Community Services eventually tracked her down, she was assessed as unable to care for the son she gave birth to when she was 14 years old. Her family sent both mother and son back to Indonesia, but she returned to Sydney when Santoso was eight, in search of a better life.
Case worker Taf Mugadza went looking for his family. When she found his biological father, he didn't even know he had a son. He was married with a family of his own and said he couldn't take the boy, so he went into foster care.
It took a long time, almost 2 years, for Ms Mugadza to find his aunt. Aunt Angi had no idea he had been abandoned and when she heard about it from relatives, she contacted the department. "He is a very good kid, if you see him, you will fall in love with him, he's very respectful and very disciplined" she said.
"When I went into care, I missed my mum a little bit and felt sad, but now I'm happy" Santoso said.
He now lives with Aunt Angi, her husband Sam and their 14 month old daughter Serena and will soon become a permanent part of the family, as the couple are in the process of adopting him.